HEALTH & SAFETY - Be Safe with The Evidence Team


The law requires evidence to establish proof of anything you claim.

Documentary Evidence

The law considers that the most effective is documentary evidence.

This is not just pieces of paper. The law now encompasses modern technology and recordings made on your mobile phone such as video, pictures and audio can, under conditions, be accepted as documentary evidence.

Application to Health & Safety

H&S (Health & Safety) law places a duty of care on businesses which effectively reverses the usual legal axiom “The defendant is innocent until proven guilty”. The onus is always on the business to produce evidence of carrying out this duty.

Without Evidence

Every year thousands of businesses receive enforcement notices which they must comply with promptly, are costly and disruptive and will cause frequent focussed inspections at which the business must prove the notice is continuing to be followed.

Every year over 150,000 businesses have to find the money to pay out damages brought under Public or Employer liability claims. This is costly and will have a detrimental effect on future insurance.

With Evidence

+Many business leaders, particularly sole traders and small firms, believe that a clean incident log is evidence of a good safety record. The law disagrees. It says that the blank pages can be achieved by luck or others being careful and therefor nothing to do with the business carrying out its duty of care.

*Documentary evidence provides the records which substantiates the empty book.

+Many businesses adopt the ”Normalisation of Deviance” approach. Coined by Dr Dianne Vaughan when investigating the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy of 1986, it is when something which is an accepted hazard is ignored. Then one day events conspire, and the issue becomes an incident, the simple stumble that becomes an awkward fall, a broken limb and a claim for £35,000. No evidence to defend nor any past history that this is a one-off.

*Feedback is an established method to motive people to do something simply because everyone can see that they haven’t. Reports from documentary evidence provides this feedback.

Gathering Evidence

As soon as you become aware of a hazard, use your mobile phone and video/voice record a description. Include facts and your assessment of the risk and any proposed preventative actions. Once the preventative work is completed, make another recording. The phone will automatically date and time-stamp the recordings. E-mail the records as attachments back to the PC/Laptop on which you keep H&S records. The internet will date and time-stamp the transmission which corroborates when you made the recordings. Once back on your PC/Laptop, download the recordings. Sometimes you will need expert advice; ensure the expert e-mails you their advice so you can download it and add it to the evidence as part of your due diligence.

Organising Evidence

The “Evidence Team” software is a Microsoft Office Access Database specifically designed to look after documentary evidence for H&S. It automatically moulds to your business by remembering the terminology you enter and then offering it for new entries so just a click and you have consistency ready for analysis. The “Evidence Team” includes due diligence, IOSH phrases, PPE used and a unique risk barometer based on an exponential algorithm to depict the peril. You can link to the recorded evidence downloaded. There are free text areas to describe the hazard and your preventative actions.

Utilising Evidence

Analysis and reports are just a click away with output as PDF or Excel spreadsheets.

Management always knows how the duty of care is being discharged and you can provide official inspectors with details plus help legal teams defend you in the unlikely event of a criminal breach or claim for damages. Benefit your relationship with insurers by providing regular updates.

Click Here to watch and see how the reports can help your business 





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The Evidence Team

Product no.: 19

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